Guest post by Ari Tulla, Co-founder and CEO at BetterDoctor, on the opportunity of being a Digital Health entrepreneur.
Ari started BetterDoctor with no experience in the healthcare market, just with a lot of ambition driven by the gaps and problems he witnessed with the existing system. He is encouraging other entrepreneurs to join him in disrupting the healthcare market with the power of technologies. In the post below he presents the market opportunity and funding alternatives. If you would like to join the healthcare disruption movement, feel free to contact him, as well as other fellow entrepreneurs and dedicated accelerators.
Healthcare is ten years behind other industries in adopting Internet, mobile and cloud computing. You can’t access your own medical records, or contact your doctor via email. It’s not even possible to book a doctors appointment online. There is a great opportunity to disrupt the current healthcare market by applying existing proven business models and concepts from other industries that are far ahead on adoption of the new technologies.
The US healthcare system is a $2,700 billion market mostly dominated by large pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and hospitals. Everyone agrees that the current system is too complex and wasteful, but it’s hard to find a simple solution to lower costs and improve quality. Instead of waiting for the system to change itself, Digital Health startups are disrupting healthcare from the outside.
Digital Health is an emerging industry at the intersection of technology and healthcare, empowering consumers to be in charge of their health. Digital Health uses smartphones, Internet, social media and gaming mechanisms to disrupt the current top-down healthcare system. Digital Health startups usually focus on solving one concrete problem, i.e.
• 23andMe, test your genes and learn about heritage
• BetterDoctor, find the right doctor
• Fitbit, track your everyday activity level
• PatientsLikeMe, connect with other patients with similar issues
• Runkeeper, track your sport activities
Healthcare investment landscape has changed dramatically over the last two years. Investment in traditional areas of Medical Devices and Biotech are down while Digital Health investments are growing rapidly. Investments in Digital Health grew by 57% in 2012, and by 12% on the first half of 2013.
Health focused Incubators are offering a great platform for very early stage startups. Rock Health, Blueprint Health and Startup Health are the most prominent ones that have already helped create some promising startups.
Many Digital Health companies with hardware component have launched successful crowd funding campaigns. Scanadu, a health tricoder startup, has raised $1.3M and Misfit, a wireless tracking device startup, $0.8M. There seems to be real consumer interest towards Digital Health gadgets.
About Ari Tulla
Ari Tulla is a Co-founder and CEO at BetterDoctor. Prior to BetterDoctor, Ari lead Nokia’s game and application businesses where he was responsible for the creation of thousands of mobile apps with over 100M downloads. Ari has over a decade of experience on creating new delightful consumer products and experiences.
When not working, Ari spends his time on the steep cliffs, powdery slopes and big cold waves that only Northern California can offer.
BetterDoctor is an easy to use doctor search service that helps consumers find the right doctor who accepts their insurance plan. The San Francisco-based company’s mission is to simplify healthcare and make doctor search more transparent. BetterDoctor service launched in September 2012 and has since helped two million patients find the right doctor. For more information visit http://betterdoctor.com or download the BetterDoctor app for iPhone.